Craig Xen Pays Tribute to XXXTentacion One Year After His Death: “You’ve Helped So Many People”
When the late XXXTentacion formed Members Only in 2014, his vision was to create a brotherhood since he always felt alone. While several artists have been welcomed into the rap collective and since parted ways, one artist who has stayed 10 toes down and stood by X since joining the group is Houston-bred rapper Craig Xen. To honor his fallen brother, Craig pays tribute to X, whom he refers to as Jahseh, on the one-year anniversary of his tragic death.
According to X, he met Craig on tour with $uicideboy$ years ago, and they began to chop it up since they shared the same mental state—Craig made X feel "super comfortable." Their friendship eventually transformed into a band of brothers alongside other artists like Ski Mask The Slump God and Kid Trunks, fellow Members Only constituents. While losing a close friend like X, who was 20 years old when he died on June 18, 2018, is a hardship, Craig finds some solace in how respectfully the late rapper treated him and their crew.
"We're so grateful for everything you ever did for us," Craig Xen, 24, shares. "You know, you didn't owe us anything. And we appreciate you being a great friend and a brother to all of us and being a great leader as well. It doesn't make any difference if it's the 18th of June or April 3rd, you know we still miss you the same, man. But if you could see the impact that you had on the world, especially today, I haven't been to your mausoleum without people being there, man. Everybody loves you. You've impacted so many people's lives for the better. You've helped so many people, bro."
From songs like the Khaed-produced "I Wonder If Bloods Watch Blue’s Clues" to Members Only Vol. 3 tracks like "CAME2KILL" to the long-awaited collaboration "Run It Back!," X and Craig have a solid history of recording together. "Run It Back!," an aggressive screamo track fans have been eagerly waiting for since it was teased in snippets on social media in 2017, has finally arrived. The song appears on Craig's new seven-track EP, Broken Kids Club, out tomorrow (June 19). While the timing of the song's release wasn't intended to line up with the one-year mark of X's passing, it's seemingly a celebration that the late artist's genre-shifting sound still lives on.
"It was coincidental it was able to be released around this time," reveals Craig, who says he used to listen to the track with X in his black BMW i8 before the song was released to the public. "I've been trying to get the song out forever. It took time to get it cleared. It was a long process. I'm grateful that it's out because it's a piece of the culture. It's almost like a fossil or an artifact. It's a piece of the culture that anybody who's been following the culture or been a part of and come to the shows, they know that those are from the days we didn't have money to get nice equipment and we were working with what we had."
While both Craig and X's respective sounds have elevated since their early years working together, Craig wants new supporters discovering their music for the first time to hear where their journey all began. "I think it's really important for the new fans to hear that sound if they haven't dug and done their research on the older sound," he continues. "The new sound is more polished and obviously it's different ’cause we're all at different points in our lives now. That song in particular I know people really wanted. I'm glad people can finally have it."
Watch Craig Xen discuss his late friend XXXTentacion's impact on the one-year anniversary of his death above.
See Photos of XXXTentacion at 2018 Rolling Loud Festival